Genre: Literary Fiction
Approximate word count: 65-70,000 words
Availability Kindle: YES Nook: YES DTB: NO
Thea Atkinson makes her home in Nova Scotia. She has been writing since she was twelve and has four other books in addition to Anomaly available for your Kindle. For more information, visit her blog.
Born with male organs and named Robert by his parents, J (her preferred name) is a female trapped in the body of a man. Yes, he (make that she) is conflicted. Not only with himself, which leads to self-destructive behavior, but also with much of the world.
I’m going to cheat and start with a quote snatched out of the From the Author section on Amazon because it describes the heart of this book so well.
When I first began writing this book and realized that my main character was a trans person, I got really nervous. What did I know about transgender? I even remember saying to my daughter, "Why would my muse give me a transgender character to work with?"
The deeper I got into the writing, the more I realized that it was about the human condition. It was about bias and prejudice and the need for society to put labels on things that we don't understand. It just so happened that my character was transgender. The same as if my character just happened to be a man and as an author I'm a woman.
Atkinson succeeded in communicating all of those things. The cliché about walking in someone else’s shoes applies as well. Her portrayal of J is both sympathetic and, for those who have ever had someone think less of them because of being different, potentially eye opening. Anomaly is not a book I would have been likely to read on my own, despite it coming close to issues that I care about. Yet, I can’t help but think I’m a better person for having done so.
Anomaly is also an excellent example of why the rise of Indie publishing we’re experiencing is a good thing. I find it hard to picture this book attracting a contract with a traditional publisher. Not because the writing or the story isn’t good enough, they are. But because of marketing reasons. How would we position it? Who’s the audience? Can we sell enough? This book deserves an audience and you owe it to yourself to read it.
A small number of typos, although not frequent enough or of the type to distract from the story.
Rating: ***** Five stars